About That Gas Tax Hike…
After much political wrangling, the California Legislature narrowly approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s $52-billion transportation infrastructure repair plan Thursday. The crux of the measure is a 12-cent-per-gallon tax hike on gasoline—the first in 23 years and the largest in the state’s history. In addition, the excise tax on diesel will go up to 20 cents per gallon. Owners of electric cars and other emission-free vehicles will also see a new annual fee of $100 and registration fees will rise based on car value. In other words, get out your wallet.
The plan drew hope and praise from some circles, but fear and anger from others. Cities, counties and the Chamber of Commerce supported the measure. Agricultural groups objected, saying it would hurt their industry.
So far, polls show a large majority of Californians are opposed to such a plan. While everyone acknowledges the poor state of California’s roads, many have criticized misplaced spending priorities in Sacramento and say funds should have been diverted from troubled projects like high-speed rail.
Under the plan, some $34 billion of the first $52 billion raised will go toward aging roads and highways with a 50-50 local-state project split. Over the first decade, another $7 billion is supposed to be funneled to mass transit.
The Los Angeles Times has an excellent break down of the plan here.